Those great folks at A List Apart are at it again with an excellent article on web development and strategy. Author Greg Storey offers a solid overview of necessary objectives and strategy planning for web design.
The formation of strategy isn't one of the most popular aspects of web development, but it should be. Strategy narrows the focus and purpose of a project to make it as effective as possible. Strategy helps contain the scope of work, direct the content creation process, and provide tactical direction to information architects. It also allows designers to design instead of just making pretty pictures, and it keeps developers focused on the right features. And, once the website has launched, you can keep the strategy around to help market the site through SEM, SEO, and, uh, EIEIO.
Storey's wisdom on strategy (building from David Siegel's seminal book Secrets of Successful Websites), translates well to writing copy, as well as design. This article is definitely worth a read. It's made me think about how strategy has contributed to successful projects I've worked on, and has given me a clear sense of new things to incorporate on our next web-related project.